RESEARCH & INNOVATION SEMIKRON Foundation and ECPE present the Innovation Award 2023 and the Young Engineer Award
The SEMIKRON Foundation grants awards to young scientists and research teams for their work in the field of power electronics, and helps underprivileged children and youths around the world. Together with ECPE, the leading industry-driven research network in the field of power electronics, they presented the Innovation Award 2023 and the Young Engineer Award. Read more about the winners in this article.
Innovation Award 2023
This year, the jury decided that the SEMIKRON Innovation Award 2023 goes to Christian Mentin and his team members Thomas Langbauer, Ismail Recepi, Alexander Connaughton, Milan Pajnic, Franz Vollmaier, Werner Konrad, Philipp Matzick, Lukas Adelbrecht from Silicon Austria Labs (SAL), Austria for their “Tiny Power Box - Next Generation of EV Charging Technologies”.
In the frame of the “Tiny Power Box” cooperative research project the team from SAL has developed a 7kW bi-directional on-board charger (OBC) prototype more than 5-times smaller and 4-times lighter than state-of-the-art automotive solutions. This leap forward in power density was accompanied with an equally significant jump in energy efficiency thanks to the novel electro-thermal co-simulation and optimization method developed in the project. Typical OBCs today have a peak efficiency of 92 % to 96 % whereas the Tiny Power Box achieves 98 % peak efficiency despite its very compact design. The developed OBC offers bi-directional operation and an integrated low-voltage DC/DC stage from the main battery voltage to 12V.
Besides the top benchmark values of the developed OBC regarding efficiency and power density, the holistic design-by-simulation workflow for power density optimization is highly appreciated by the jury members. A significant impact of the innovation on future e-mobility can be expected from the very high performance in efficiency and power density in combination with the bi-directional functionality e.g. in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) scenarios.
Young Engineer Award 2023
The SEMIKRON Young Engineer Award 2023 goes to Bo Yao from the Aalborg University in Denmark for his work on "A Robust kV and kA Testing Method for DC/AC Capacitors".
The work in the area of passive components is addressing a cutting-edge capacitor testing method, which is suitable for application-oriented testing of high-power capacitor banks e.g. in wind power, railway traction or electric vehicles. The innovative test method is able to emulate robust electrical stresses to DC/AC capacitors with minimum hardware cost and minimum energy consumption. Specifically, during the lifetime testing, the proposed test method can continuously apply kV and kA ripple stresses and keep the lowest power consumption regardless of the capacitor degradation, which cannot be achieved by conventional ways.
The circuit topology, control structure, and corresponding testing capability are well presented. Compared with existing test methods the proposed innovation clearly shows the superior benchmark of required power, ripple voltage and current range. The feasibility of the novel capacitor testing method has been successfully demonstrated and verified in full-power experiments on both DC and AC capacitors.
The presented method will enable application-oriented capacitor testing especially for MW converter systems e.g. in wind power and railway traction. It will not only offer significant energy savings during the capacitor test but also contribute to the safe and reliable converter operation in renewable energy and sustainable transport applications.
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